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Elyssa Schmier's picture

Disturbed. That’s how I felt after seeing the latest holiday news coming out of some of our country’s biggest businesses. For example, ABC News reports McDonald’s is giving its employees holiday “financial tips” like, “Selling some of your unwanted possessions on eBay or Craigslist could bring in some quick cash” and “Sing away stress: singing along to your favorite songs can lower your blood pressure.”  And, as reported by The Nation, a Walmart in Ohio is “holding a food drive—for its own employees!”

Working parents need more than advice to sing their favorite songs in order to relieve financial stress. We need to raise the minimum wage. Right now, $14,500 is what is earned while working full-time year round at federal minimum wage.

Tell your Members of Congress to raise the minimum wage:

This holiday season as we rush through malls and restaurants, let’s make sure the more than 30 million low-wage workers are able to earn more than just demeaning advice: let’s raise the minimum wage! 

Since the recession, 58% of new jobs have been in low-wage occupations like cashiers and food preparation where the minimum wage sets pay scales. And women are getting hit the hardest. Women represent nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers. A woman working full time, year round at minimum wage will earn $14,500 annually—nearly $4,000 below the poverty line for a mother with two children. The situation is particularly harsh for tipped minimum wage workers (like waitresses and bartenders) who haven’t seen a raise in over 20 years and are somehow still being paid $2.13/hour!

And low-wage workers are older than you think. They are not only teenagers working the drive-thru window. In fact, 88% of workers who would be affected by raising the minimum wage are at least 20 years old, and a third of them are at least 40 years old.

No one working full time should live in poverty. It’s time to raise the minimum wage! The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 has been introduced in the House of Representatives and Senate and will be voted on in the coming weeks. This important piece of legislation will raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 by 2015 for more than 30 million workers. 56% of the workers seeing an increased wage would be women, and over 5 million workers affected are moms.

It’s past time to raise the minimum wage. Tell Congress to get moving:

Moms are working hard for this country. Isn’t it time that our country works for moms!?

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